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Taking It Up a Notch

The newest cover lifting technology from Hot Tub Products

Hot Tub Products has updated and improved its ConvertALift automated spa cover lifter, which was initially released in 2020. The ConvertALift allows for the conversion of Hot Tub Product’s SpaEase Model 200 Lifter or VacuSeal system to a remote-controlled, automated process that can be operated from inside the home with just the push of a button.

Andy Tournas, president of Hot Tub Products says that, while the industry has improved a lot in terms of accessibility and ease of use, the cover has always been a stumbling block.

“I think the lifters [on the market] provide a certain amount of ease, but never to the point that the customer is actually satisfied,” he says, “and we feel we’re bringing it to that level. Weight and temperature are not going to be any kind of deterrent to the ConvertALift opening.” Because of the power of the actuators, it will handle quite a bit of weight and open in about 17 seconds, he says.

The technology behind the ConvertALift is similar to actuators used in car hatches and engine rooms for yachts. The control box and the power supply are installed within the spa cabinet. Activated twin electronic linear actuators control the arms of the cover lifter. The remote works up to 150 feet away, but it can also be controlled by turning a key on the spa.

The ConvertALift bridges the gap between standard cover lifters and similar technology that may be too expensive for most hot tub users, Tournas says.

Best in Backyards in Carmel, New York, offers traditional spa covers and high-end automatic covers. “If someone loves the high-end one but doesn’t want to go through the expense of getting it, we can offer them the ConvertALift at a [lower price point] and still get them a great product with an automated lifter,” says Rolf Zimmerman, vice president of sales. “And make them happy, which is what we like to do.”

The adaptability of the product makes it available to those who already have lifters or may want to add them in the future. Customers who wish to purchase just the SpaEase 200 Cover Lifter for $299 (dealer cost $149) can later add an Automatic ConvertALift System for $1,197 ($599 for dealers).

The ConvertALift is a dependable and efficient conversion system for existing lifters, Tournas says. The SpaEase Model 200 Cover Lifter and the VacuSeal Cover & Lift system use the same mounting brackets and lifting arms as the ConvertALift model, so dealers can sell four different packages that can be upgraded later with little to no loss in value.

Tournas says he’s thrilled with the reception of the product, and believes it’s going to change the industry by providing easier use for the average consumer. 

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The ConvertALift has safety features such as locking actuators and a lockable closure to prevent unsupervised children from access. This element is also attractive for those with vacation homes or rental property. Once the cover is closed and locked with the ConvertALift, it will keep any unwanted visitors out.

Tournas says the simplicity of the remote-controlled ConvertALift makes it special. “It’s not something that has so many moving parts that you’re going to see problems in the field,” he says. “We’ve tried to keep it very simplistic in making sure it works well.”

Hot Tub Products also added a new customer relationship management program to help support its existing dealers. The CRM will provide an automatic response to interested customers on the Hot Tub Products website. This includes a short description of the product, the retail price and a PDF to ensure the product is compatible with their spa. It also requests the customers’ contact information, so all the dealer has to do is reach out to provide the installation price and finalize their order. Hot Tub Products will also be able to track dealer responses and conversion ratios.

The average installation of the ConvertALift takes about 90 minutes, Tournas says, adding that part replacements should be simple. “What we’ve designed is for someone who doesn’t have much technical experience,” he says. “Every component part — whether it’s the key switch, actuator, control box or power supply — is attached by an easily detachable IP66 weatherproof connection cable. So if someone needed to remove an actuator and replace it with a new actuator, it would take five minutes to do it.”

The ConvertALift system has already debuted at trade shows and is now in a full launch phase for hot tubs. Hot Tub Products expects to release a version for swim spa covers in June. Tournas says he’s most excited about the reception from dealers and customers, who tell him they wish the ConvertALift was available long ago. 

“You hit a button while you’re standing 100 feet away, and you watch customers watch it open [in awe].” Tournas says. “That’s the reassurance and justification for all of the work you’ve done.”


ConvertALift Automatic Hot Tub Cover Lifter System

Available for Hot Tub Products’ SpaEase Model 200 Lifter and VacuSeal Cover and Lifter System

  • Dealer VacuSeal Cover & Lifter ConvertALift Package Cost: $1,097
  • Customer VacuSeal Cover & Lifter ConvertALift Package Cost: $2,195
  • Installation requirements: 90-minute service tech installation.
  • Stand-out features: Easy assembly and repair, remote control, temperature protected and lockable closure.